Tuesday, September 15, 2009

stocking the pantry

Remember when I said I needed a grocery fairy to tell me what I need for my pantry? Well guess what I found? Right here in my new favorite cook book (or, um, first favorite cookbook)? "Pantry Must Haves!" So here they are in all their glory. Let's see how much, or little, of these I have. ("x" means I have it.)

[x] Flour
[x] Baking Powder
[x] Baking Soda
[ ] Cornstarch
[x] Brown Sugar
[x] Granulated Sugar
[x] Canned Beans (ok, I have black beans. what others should I add to my pantry?)
[ ] Dry Beans (what kind?)
[x] Garlic (bulb or bottled)
[x] Nonstick Spray Coating
[x] Herbs and Spices (thanks to a nice spice set we got as a wedding gift, but there are still a lot of spices in recipes I have read that I don't have.)
[x] Vanilla (love me some vanilla)
[ ] Olives
[x] Broth
[x] White or Brown rice
[x] Pasta
[x] Salsa
[x] Olive Oil
[x] Vegetable Oil
[ ] Sesame Oil
[x] Vinegar (balsamic, cider, white, red wine, rice) (I actually only have white vinegar. Are the others used much?)
[ ] Canned tomato sauce and tomato paste
[ ] Worcestershire Sause
[ ] Soy Sauce
[ ] Lemon and Lime Juice

OK, so not TOO bad. I don't think stocking these things is going to solve all my cooking problems, and I still need to plan meals so I don't have to make a trip to the store for every dinner, but having these things stocked would at least help out a little! Now all I need is a remodel fairy to make my miniature apartment pantry, oh, three times bigger. ----> Like this photo. Ah-maz-ing.


mere... said...

side note:
balsamic vinegar is best used in marinades and salad dressing and the older it is, the sweeter it is (and more $). it has a good sweet/sour taste.
apple cider vinegar is used by a lot of health conscious cooks (myself included) when it's in its all natural unpasteurized form, it's also claimed to have a lot of medical uses - which is why i actually first started using it. i think it goes best with lighter foods, i.e. chicken & fish. but if you buy it processed, most of the nutrients - as with all processed foods - get lost.
red wine vinegar is recommended for using in heavier meat meals, like beef and pork.
white wine vinegar is good in lighter foods like chicken, fish, and greens, and possibly even fruit dishes.
i personally think plain white vinegar is strong and stick to it for cleaning purposes, but it's what you typically find in the store so it's what a lot of people use for cooking - i know it's what i used for the past 4 years so it definitely works.
rice: actually haven't heard of this one, but i would imagine it'd be good with stir-fry's and other asian inspired meals.

...that's right, i know cooking things. overall, it just depends on how much flavoring you want to accent in your meals. white will work for everyday cooking without ruining anything, but your meals can be amplified by using others that are more flavor compatible.

Elizabeth said...

Wow mere..i'm impressed! Apparently I need to come to your place for dinner. And Brit I'm impressed that your pantry is that stocked! My little addition...I LOVE balsamic vinegar poured on top of olive oil to dip bread in...it gives it such a yummy sweet yet sour flavor and is a super easy little appetizer!

And I'm sure one day you will have a cute larger pantry that you can organize to your hearts content!<3

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